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Mike Huckabee Shills For McDonald’s?

Reported by Priscilla - July 13, 2010 -

Despite the epidemic of obesity in America, with conservative red staters waddling at the head of the pack, the anti-science right wing is now railing about efforts by those who advocate for healthy living to control practices by those who promote unhealthy eating habits. It’s ironic, don’t ya think that these are the same folks who are so upset about too much government spending but don’t seem to care that the American penchant for lots of fattening food is costing the country big bucks in added health care costs. So it’s interesting that Mike Huckabee, who claims to be concerned about the childhood obesity crisis, is now promoting McDonald’s food and toys geared towards children. And while his emphasis on parental responsibility is correct, his advocacy for McDonald’s “Happy Meals” with toys seems to undermine his concern about obesity. It also seems like free advertising for McDonald’s But it was an opportunity for Huckabee to preach the requisite right wing agitprop about the “dangers of political correctness” so it’s all good.

Last Saturday (July 12th) Huckabee started the show by saying that because the show was live, he didn’t get a chance to eat - but not to worry because a crew member brought him a “happy meal.” This was his prop for a little homily about how poor McDonald’s is being sued because a group that cares about child nutrition is concerned that the free toys “lure children into McDonald's restaurants where they are then likely to order food.” Happy eater Huckabee “wanted to offer a big heap of admiration for McDonald’s” because, in the face of a lawsuit from the “Center for Science and Public Interest” they said that “the toys are here to stay” and demanded an apology from the CSPI. Huckabee joked that the CSPI folks are “just a few fries short of a happy meal, themselves” because they are blaming packaging instead of the parents. Huckabee did speak about the “stunning health” and “staggering economic” consequences of the childhood obesity crisis; but he claimed that it’s not going to be solved by “getting rid of the toys.” He asserted that parents should monitor their children’s calories and excercises and claimed that with parent’s dropping their children off at McDonald’s for “parenting,” it’s “stupid to blame the toy.” (Uh, the toys are geared to small children who, one hopes, aren’t being droppd off at McDonald’s) He noted that he can’t blame the “prize” in Crackerjacks for his weight problems. The happy propaganda was reflected in his comment that he was “happy” that “McDonald’s did not "cave to the pinheaded pressure of political correctness.” He added that “the loons on the left don’t seem to realize that Americans not only have personal freedom; but also have to have some personal responsibility.” (And so does McDonald's!) He admonished the CSPI to “get out of the courtroom and encourage kids to spend more time on the basketball court and less time in the food court.”

Comment: While Huckabee is correct that parents need to be more responsible, he doesn’t seem to realize that, as the CSPI state, "McDonald's use of toys undercuts parental authority and exploits young children's developmental immaturity” by “making unhealthy food seem more desireable to children.” Obviously Americans have the right to smoke; but cigarettes are not advertised on television due to a law passed, in 1970, by Congress – a law which came about because it was agreed that the slick advertising encouraged people to engage in a very unhealthy lifestyle. It would appear that the American right wing, and its Fox “News” mouthpiece, care more about corporate America than the health of children. Nice to know that health advocate and possible presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, is not just standing up for Jesus – but for McDonald’s, too!